14 Apr 2015

5 Things I learned from The Digital Picnic Workshop

The Digital Picnic Workshop

I recently attended a social media workshop ran by The Digital Picnic. TDP is ran by two amazing woman, Cat & Cherie, who are experts in the field of marketing and social media. 

TDP only started towards the end of last year and initially only ran in Melbourne, as the two owners live there. I personally wanted to attend just so I could meet Cherie. I have been following Cherie and her former blogs, A Baby Called Max and Raising Master Max pretty much since I had Eli. 

I loved reading her posts because they were so honest and her words were like as if you were having a conversation. It just seemed whatever she we going through at the time, I was experiencing something very similar, and I agreed with a lot of what she had to say on topics or experiences. Our first borns  are a few months apart, and so are our second borns, so again I could relate and empathise with her even more. Connecting virtually with someone through personal stories was something I found fascinating, something I enjoyed, and so I wanted to give back too. 

I started this blog to capture snippets of my life. At the time it focused a lot on my day to day parenting experiences. Which I'm glad I did, because when the boys have grown and raising babies are never going to happen again, I have some place to look back and read about that time in my life. I shared what it's like raising two boys with severe food allergies and other medical experiences. I discussed a little about things that interests me like finance and CrossFit, and now I share planning celebrations cause I like that stuff too.

As soon as I walked into the room I bee lined up to Cherie, put my arms out and gave her a big hug. I was just over the moon to finally meet her in person. I could put a voice to the words I've read over the years, and listening to her talk throughout the day, she talks just the way she writes - gentle, intelligent with humour mixed in. I also got to meet the lovely Cat, who has so much knowledge and able to share it in a way that was easy to understand. I found myself just nodding, with "Ah huh" moments to everything she was saying.

They top 5 things I learnt from the social media workshop are:

1. Renaming images for search engine optimisation (SEO)
I purposely share a lot of images on this blog, trying to include an image for every post I publish. However I never rename my images, keeping the file name the same as whatever name the camera has allocated it. To optimise my images I should rename them using SEO friendly keywords. For example IMG0003.jpg is not as useful as fresh-apples.jpg 

It make sense. I mean go to Google now and search for anything you want. Your results will display web results, but there is an image option right under the search box, and usually images are within the first couple of results anyways.  

2. Understanding the affect of Facebook likes vs engagement
This was an interesting topic. I remember seeing a meme my sister put up, it was something along the lines of "All I see on my news feed is people getting married and having babies, I'm just planning my next holiday." There's a reason why we see those popular announcements of friends and friends of friends, because the more it is liked the more it is shared. 

You have say 200 friends on Facies but its seems only 20 of them are actively over using it? Or why is it that your feed is full of things the same "over active" Facebook friends are liking? Again its because of how you may have interacted with that friend (via like, comment or share) on Facies that has allowed them to be coming up on your feed more frequently than others.

There's so much more to learn about the affects of likes and engagement, it's a separate workshop in its own. 

3. What tools & apps to use
Yes there are so many tools and apps out there today. Sure many are free and some do different things better than others, so one app a person uses may not be useful for another person. I am the type of person who tries or uses a product based on other people's recommendations. So if the owners of a small, but thriving social media business is recommending particular apps to use that have made their lives easier, I'm downloading those apps. 

4. Understanding analytics & measurement
At the start I would post things at an adhoc basis, and maybe in the past 8 months I got a bit more strategic about what and when I post things online. During the workshop we spent some time understanding the importance of reviewing your site, or social media engagement patterns. I also finally got to understand what some of the Google and Facies categories or headings mean, and what behaviours are desirable. 

5. Making a good impression
This is probably marketing or social media 101, but never neglect the importance of a clear and direct bio across all your social media platforms. It's the first page they hit and potentially the only one they'll look at, so ensure you impress your customer, reader, clients. Make sure it sells, they know what products you offer or what you're about - don't leave them guessing. 

The Digital Picnic runs workshops through out the year and if you want to learn more about social media as well as strategies to thrive in those areas, I can't recommend the workshop enough. They also offer other workshops targeting email content and photography too. 

This is not a sponsored post, I just love sharing my experiences. If you found this post interesting too, feel free to share. 

Have you attended a social media workshop before? What was the one key message / knowledge you took away from it? 

Linking up with Jess
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